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  #1  
Unread 11-03-2019, 11:06 AM
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Spindleshanks Spindleshanks is online now
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Default Heine: Hüt dich, mein Freund, vor grimmen Teufelsfratzen

Hüt dich, mein Freund, vor grimmen Teufelsfratzen

Revision 2


Beware, my friend, of fiends with demon faces,
But worse than those are angel-faced young hussies.
Just such a one once offered me her kisses,
but greeted me with little paws like razors.

Beware, my friend, of old cats, blackened creatures,
But worse than those are younger whitewashed kitties.
Just such a one I used to call my cutie,
But cutie left my heart in rips and scratches.

O sweet young hussy, wondrous little lady,
How could your limpid little eyes deceive me?
How could your small paws rend my heart completely.
O my young puss, with paws so smart and dainty!
If I would kiss your burning lips, enraptured,
My heart would meanwhile die from bleeding, ruptured!


Revision 1

Beware, my friend, of fiends with demon features,
But worse than those are angel-faced young hussies.
One such at one time offered me a kissy,
but
greeted me with sharpened paws and slashes.

Beware, my friend, of old cats, blackened creatures,
But worse than those are little whitewashed kitties.
One such at one time I had made my cutie,
But cutie
left my heart in rips and scratches.

O sweet young hussy, marvellous sweet maiden!
How could your limpid little eyes deceive me?
How could your paws attack my heart and grieve me?
O my young puss, with wondrous paws so dainty!
If I would kiss your burning lips, enraptured,
My heart would meanwhile die from bleeding, ruptured!


Version 1

Beware, my friend, of fiends with demon features,
But worse still is the angel-faced young hussy.
One such who had been offering to kiss me,
then greeted me with sharpened paws and slashes.

Beware, my friend, of old cats, blackened creatures,
But worse still is the younger whitewashed kitty.
One such I once regarded as my sweetie,
But sweetie left my heart in rips and scratches.

O sweet young hussy, marvellous sweet maiden!
How could your limpid little eyes deceive me?
How could your paws attack my heart and bleed me?
O my young puss, with wondrous paws so dainty!
If I could kiss your burning lips, enraptured,
My heart could meantime die from bleeding, ruptured!

Original

Hüt dich, mein Freund, vor grimmen Teufelsfratzen,
Doch schlimmer sind die sanften Engelsfrätzchen.
Ein solches bot mir einst ein süßes Schmätzchen,
Doch wie ich kam, da fühlt ich scharfe Tatzen.

Hüt dich, mein Freund, vor schwarzen, alten Katzen,
Doch schlimmer sind die weißen, jungen Kätzchen;
Ein solches macht ich einst zu meinem Schätzchen,
Doch tät mein Schätzchen mir das Herz zerkratzen.

O süßes Frätzchen, wundersüßes Mädchen!
Wie konnte mich dein klares Äuglein täuschen?
Wie konnt dein Pfötchen mir das Herz zerfleischen?
O meines Kätzchens wunderzartes Pfötchen!
Könnt ich dich an die glühenden Lippen pressen,
Und könnt mein Herz verbluten unterdessen!



Crib

Beware, my friend, of grim devil's face,
But worse are the gentle angel faces.
One such once offered me a little kiss,
But when I came, I feel sharp paws.

Beware, my friend, of black, old cats,
But worse are the white, young kittens;
One of these, I once made my darling,
But my sweetie should scratch my heart.

Oh sweet little hussy, wonder sweet maiden!
How could your clear eye fool me?
How could your paw tear my heart?

O my kitten's wonder sweet little paw!
Can I press you to the glowing lips,
And can my heart bleed meanwhile!

oOOo

Last edited by Spindleshanks; 11-06-2019 at 09:52 AM.
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  #2  
Unread 11-04-2019, 10:58 AM
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Spindleshanks Spindleshanks is online now
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Default

I've posted a revision that hopefully will make for a smoother read.
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  #3  
Unread 11-04-2019, 02:21 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Peter,

An interesting challenge - a lot of the fun of this depends on the play of diminutives, which are more easily rendered in a similarly diminutive-rich language like Spanish or Italian. Anyway, I quite enjoy what you've got in your English, and the German's not bad either. Not something I'd want to write, but then, that's often the case for me with Heine, who has his own concerns.

Cheers,
John
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Unread 11-05-2019, 02:29 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Peter, I can see what you are doing by trying to imitate Heine's feminine rhymes, but that makes rhyming a nightmare in English. As John mentions, English is short on diminutives. I also feel that by changing words to make them fit the meter, you are changing meanings in ways that are hard to support. In S2 "blackened" and "whitewashed" don't apply well to cats. I liked "kiss me" better than "kissy." Some of your rhymes don't really feel like rhymes to me, such as "features/slashes," "creatures/scratches," "maiden/dainty." If I were translating it, I would probably change some of the feminine rhymes to masculine ones to make the rhyming work better, and I would perhaps alter the rhyme scheme if I thought it would help. But we all privilege different aspects of the poem when translating.

Susan
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  #5  
Unread 11-05-2019, 10:36 AM
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Spindleshanks Spindleshanks is online now
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Thanks, Susan, for pushing me further.

I've used whitewashed and blackened in the metaphoric sense, believing that likely Heine was enjoying a play on words here. My resources suggest the renderings of whitewashed and blacken as acceptable alternatives.

I've revised the rhymes, staying with slants but hopefully nearer to acceptable. I'm reluctant to depart from the feminine, believing that part of the original's force lies in the chosen metrical structure. While it is challenging, it was nonetheless not uncommon for Heine's past translators, such as Lazarus, Bowring, Leland, et al to largely succeed in closely reflecting his rhyme scheme and metrical pattern. It's a challenge, I think, worth pursuing, if not successfully achieved.

Peter
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